It has been rather funny and depressing to watch this whole Cliven Bundy fiasco unfold. I won’t bother trying to hash out all the details here (try this lengthy timeline), but essentially an angry old Mormon rancher in Nevada decided that an armed stand-off with federal officers was the only answer when he repeatedly lost in court. It became a prominent national news story as many conservatives came together in support of someone who was apparently standing up to the greatest evil this country has ever seen.
It didn’t matter that Bundy was clearly breaking the law, that Obama had nothing to do with the affair, or that innocent federal agents were coming face to face with automatic weapons when performing their duties. America! Freedom!
Nevada Senator Dean Heller called Bundy a patriot. Senator Rand Paul joined his side. People from all over the country were showing up in Nevada to help Bundy.
Unsurprisingly, the other shoe finally dropped. Bundy is racist. And not just a little racist, but full on wish-black-people-were-still-slaves racist:
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.”
“And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Oops! Mr. Bundy, you let your racism show. You’re supposed to hide that way. You need to be more subtle with that. There is a line you just can’t cross, Mr. Bundy! You’re allowed to make ridiculous claims about the President’s birth certificate because of his skin color. You can compare Obama to a genocidal maniac based on his middle name, even though that name is extraordinarily common in many cultures. You can even wear insane shirts to political rallies.
But saying that black people were better off as slaves? That will lose you some support.
Let’s not forget either that Mr. Bundy is willing to defend with lethal force his illegal use of government property to feed his cattle, but is criticizing people who legally use governmental support to feed their families. Why does the GOP keep aligning themselves with these nutjobs?